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So much for quality of life

On Feb. 10 there was an article on the front page of The Gazette entitled “City Council reduces parkland requirement for developers.” The council voted 5 to 4 to decrease parkland requirements from 7.5 acres to 5.5 acres per 1000 residents. The vote was not supposed to happen for another two weeks and Richard Skorman had requested a delay for six months since the parks planning process is going to determine funding in the upcoming months. But five members of our city council voted to give developers another break.

Colorado Springs has the least amount of parkland per 1,000 residents of any of the front range cities. I wonder if any of those council members actually visit our parks. Do they realize how overused our parks are in this city? And the council certainly does not relish funding our parks. So now they vote to place more housing with more people with less access to a neighborhood park.

Council members Wayne Williams, Jill Gaebler, Mike O’Malley, David Geislinger, and Tom Strand should not have the ability to make this extremely important decision which effects our whole city without the input from the citizens. Once again our city government rules in favor of developers. So much for our quality of life.

Patricia Leveille

Colorado Springs

Parking meter mysteries

I am wondering if the parking meters in downtown Colorado Springs are the deep, dark mystery to other people that they are to me and others I have talked to. I was not aware that an advanced degree in mechanical engineering and night vision goggles were required to park a car for a few hours. Also, in ideal conditions there is a slight chance that the instructions on the meters can be read but any hint of darkness or minimal sunlight and they might as well be written in Sanskrit. But should one have the visionary skills to read the instructions, it won’t help. No matter which way you turn your credit card the machine will inform you that you need to turn it the other way. There is a finite number of ways to turn a rectangular credit card yet none of them seem to unlock the mysterious puzzle. It is my understanding that Colorado Springs wants to encourage and support downtown businesses. Those of us without degrees from MIT and X-ray vision would like the opportunity to help out.

Tom Shipp

Colorado Springs

Changing this dysfunctional system

Like many others, I found myself laser-focused on the videos and testimony given in the opening day of the impeachment trial. I find myself aghast that anyone, regardless of political affiliation, can find the behavior of former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6 mob consistent with the moral and social fabric of our nation.

To reunify our country, and to avert bloodshed in the years ahead, I believe we must have a moral and spiritual revival and it starts with each of us. Do we each have the will to humbly self-examine our part in today’s catastrophic state of affairs? Not just in the last four years of radicalization and ever-widening political hatred, but in our behavior and treatment of people we know with whom we disagree?

The primary way we can each effect change in this dysfunctional system is to turn inward and change ourselves. I must treat those who disagree with me with respect, recognizing their right to be heard from their point of view. Therein lies the greatest possibility for communication and for real, healing change. I am not suggesting vigorous prosecution of the events at the capital should not be pursued. Quite the contrary. All the guilty must face punishment. However, punishment alone of one group or one person will not solve our national problems. Democracy is a political and spiritual reality, and, I say again, one that needs revival. Let it begin with us.

Don Longbottom

Colorado Springs

Some fact checking

The author of the letter entitled “A reasonable minimum wage” might want to do some fact checking before offering up a moderately flawed opinion.

Fact: The small businesses and middle class of California are reportedly suffering greatly due to the “progressive” economic policies of the current and recent past state governments. In fact, California that had, for decades, been the shining example of economic health and prosperity to the rest of our once-great nation, but California is now No. 46 in overall economic prosperity. In case there are any math challenged folks reading this letter, that means that California is the fftth from the bottom of all 50 states.

Fact: The small business owners and the middle class of California are permanently moving out of that state at an alarming rate because of the restrictive economic policies.

Fact: Seattle’s move to $15 an hour, a few years ago, resulted in workers given fewer hours and experiencing a net loss in pay.

Fact: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released a study that indicated that $15 per hour minimum wage will allow approximately 1 million Americans to break free of poverty… but that there will be 1.4 less minimum wage jobs available thus the unemployment numbers would swell and force many workers into poverty causing federal government assistance to increase.

Fact: The CBO also indicated that the federal deficit will increase by $54 billion … (that is with a “b”). They go on to explain that higher wages would lead to more revenue in the form of payroll taxes, as well as less reliance on government programs like food stamps. But it would also lead to higher costs for the government through unemployment insurance and health care spending.

IMHO what is truly “disgraceful” is not so much the low federal minimum wage but the fact that there are Americans out there who mostly by personal choice do not obtain a viable primary and secondary education and then who remain in “entry level jobs” for most of their lives. That is, instead of performing well on their jobs and being able to be promoted into better paying positions within their place of employment.

I wonder what the folks who want a $15 hourly wage will say when the local businesses who have to pay exorbitant wages to their workers and then these same businesses have to turn around and increase their prices of their goods and services in order to afford paying the higher wages? No one wins. Why? Because raising prices will cause customers to take their business elsewhere. Losing business means losing income thus the business owner will have to lay off workers.

John Wear

Colorado Springs

This content was originally published here.